Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne, has called on the Minister for Education to live up to his own promises for action on school secretaries.

Deputy Byrne reminded the Minister that back May he said, “we need to develop a comprehensive mechanism that will provide a pathway to a resolution” for school secretaries. Seven months later and not only has there not been any resolution, school secretaries are also planning further strike action.

Deputy Byrne said, “Last night, talks at the WRC failed and representatives of school secretaries announced a one-day strike followed by a work to rule to commence in January – this is far from the pathway to resolution that the Minister promised.

“It is deeply disappointing that talks at the WRC have ended without a positive resolution. The proposals put forward do not address the fundamental problem. School secretaries doing the very same job can be on vastly different wages and have vastly different entitlements based on who they are employed by. This is manifestly unfair and must be dealt with.

“It is disappointing that school secretaries must again engage in industrial action. This issue was first raised last January, but it took up until September before talks could begin. The likely disruption which will now take place could have been avoided a more proactive approach had been taken.

“This situation has been made more difficult by the failure of the Minister for Education to back his own words with action. It’s very hard to have any kind of faith in a Government who think ‘well said’ is better than ‘well done’, concluded Deputy Byrne.